How to Prepare for Natural Disasters

Any item that you may need when evacuating should be deposited in an easy-to-carry container such as backpack or a duffel bag. It is also important to store a small disaster kit in your vehicle. Store one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation use, in a clean plastic container. More water may be desired if you live in a warmer climate. Choose foods that you and your family will eat, that will not go bad and does not have to be cooked, including fruit bars, dry cereals, canned foods and juices.

Also remember to pack a manual can opener as well as cups and instruments used for eating. Emergency personnel will assist after a disaster strikes however; there may be times when they may not be able to reach everyone immediately. We cannot control natural disasters, emergencies, or terrorist attacks, but we can be equipped for them. The top 10 possible emergencies include: 1 . Floods, 2. Fires, 3. Winter Storms, 4. Tropical Storms, Tornadoes, and Thunderstorms, 5. Influenza Pandemic also known as the Flu, 6. Hazardous Material Incidents, 7.

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Earthquakes and Landslides, 8. Nuclear Threat, 9. Dam Failures, and 10. Terrorism. Floods The most common natural disaster in the United States is Flooding. Floods can happen in various ways. Floods can start slow during a long rain period, or if warm air trails after a heavy snow fall. Flash floods can happen quickly. You should always be prepared for a flood emergency, no matter where you may live. To prepare for a flood you should build an emergency kit and make a family communication plan; not every member of your family will always be in the same area as you.

Your family communication plan should include a neighborhood meeting place, an out-of-neighborhood meeting place, and an out-of-town meeting place and phone numbers for each, information of each member such as name, date of birth, social security number, medical information, and keep it up to date. Write down where each member spends the most time such as work and school. Make sure that each member has a plan in case Of an emergency. In the case of a flood, avoid building unless you elevate your home. It is also key to hoist your furnace, water heater/tank and any electric panels located in your home.

Consider setting up “check valves” to avert flood water from backing up into the drains of your home. Also, construct barriers to avoid flood water from entering your home and seal walls in your basement with compounds that are waterproof. Fires Fires are the second most common natural disaster. Fires can be life threatening in two minutes and destroy a home in as little as five. Toxic gases are directed into the air, as they burn, that can make you lose control of your movements and cognitive skills. Inhalation is the top reason people die in fires.

Start organizing for fire emergencies by building an emergency kit and a family communication plan. If building a home, keep in mind that fires can occur, and design a landscape with that in mind. Choose materials and plants that are fire resistant and can help contain fires, evade materials that will fuel fire. Clean your roof and gutters on a regular basis as well as inspecting your chimney at least biannually. Sanitize your chimney at least twice a year and keep them in good working order. Screen openings to your homes floors, roof and attic, and mount smoke alarms on each level of your home, exclusively near bedrooms.

Test fire alarms each month. Each family member should learn how to use a fire extinguisher and should know where they are kept. It is crucial to steer clear of items that will burn including wood piles, lawn furniture, grills; move them outside or in an area away from your house. Winter Storms People are injured, even killed, in traffic accidents on icy roads or suffer from low body temperatures due to being cold for long periods of time; that is why winter storms are another common natural calamity in the United States.

To prepare for a winter storm; you should add the following to your emergency kit: * Rock salt to melt ice on walkways * Sand to increase traction * Snow shovels and other equipment to eradicate snow * Heating fuel such as dehydrated, seasoned wood for your fire-place and wood burning stoves * Clothing and bedding such as blankets You should also create a family communications plan, listen to a weather dado or other local weather stations, and reduce travel, as well as bringing all pets inside during winter storms.

Tropical Storms, Tornadoes, and Thunderstorms Tropical storms, tornadoes and thunderstorms may cause a significant deal of damage as well as creating dangerous weather conditions. Tropical storms bring harsh winds and severe flooding. Tornadoes can happen without warning; and thunderstorms can create dangerous lightning, which is one of the main explanations of weather-related deaths in the United States, each year.

Begin preparing by building an emergency kit as well as a family immunization plan, remove dead trees and branches that could collapse and cause injury, suspend any outdoor activities, stay indoors, secure any outdoor furniture and objects that can cause damage by blowing away, secure outside doors as well as windows, and unplug any electronic equipment. Before a tropical storm, know your surroundings and study the elevation level of your property and neighboring houses. Knowing your community evacuation routes and having transportation can also help you stay protected.

Influenza Pandemic Influenza spreads by Sick people coughing or sneezing and touching reface such as doorknobs, and buttons on elevators. Individuals experience little or no protection against the flu, unlike seasonal flu, and cause a pandemic. To plan for a pandemic, store a ;o week, or longer, stock of food and water. If you cannot get to a store, keep extra supplies on hand. Check your consistent prescription medications periodically, to guarantee a continuing supply in your household. Nonprescription drugs including pain relievers, cough and cold medications, fluids with electrolytes and vitamins, should also be kept on hand.

Keep in contact with those you know about how they want to be treated if hey Were to become sick, or find out what they would need to care for them. Volunteering with local groups can help you prepare for such a disaster. Also, become involved in your community as they work to prepare for a pandemic. Hazardous Material Incidents Hazardous materials are substances that if released or not used properly can create a threat to the environment around us, as well as our health. A hazardous material accident can happen anywhere at any time, and you need to be prepared in case of an incident happening.

Many communities have Local Emergency Planning Committees set in place. Their responsibilities include collecting data about hazardous materials in the community and making information available to the public. When hazardous material incidents were to OCCUr, build an emergency supply kit which should include non-perishable foods, and water, along with a battery-powered radio, flashlights and batteries. Also make sure that you have plastic sheeting, duct tape and scissors included in your kit in order to be prepared. Create a family emergency plan. If you are asked to evacuate, immediately do so.

If you happen to be caught outside, stay uphill and stay at least one-half of a mile from the danger zone. Earthquakes and Landslides Earthquakes and landslides are destructive. An earthquake is sudden with fast shaking of the earth caused by breaking of rocks deep under the ground. 45 states in the I-Joined States, including Pennsylvania, are at risk. Landslides happen in all 50 of the states. When a landslide occurs, large rocks and earth move down hillsides and mountains. Storms, earthquakes, fires and construction that is man-made, can all cause landslides to happen. Moving quickly, landslides have little to no warning.

To be ready for a landslide, you should prepare an emergency kit and keep a family communications plan. Avoid building houses near steep slopes, mountain edges, and drainage ways. Familiarize yourself with the land around you, and learn whether debris flows have occurred. Planting ground covers on slopes and retaining walls can help protect your property as well as building channels to direct the flow around your home. Nuclear Threat Nuclear power plants use nuclear heat to turn water into steam, this process makes electricity. Dangerous radiation levels could cause health and safety issues of those living near nuclear power plants.

If you live within 10 miles of a power plant, you should be aware of the evacuation routes that are et up in locations in your area. Dam Failures With great strength, large quantities of water head downstream with immense force when a dam fails. Dam failures happen with little warning in many cases, within hours of the first signs of failure. To prepare for dam failures, take the same Steps and precautions as you would if a flood were to occur. Terrorism Terrorists plan their attacks in a way that gets them the greatest news coverage for the substantial fear they create among the public.

Terrorism is defined as the “unlawful use of force and violence against persons or repertory to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objective (FBI. Gob, 2002-2005). Terrorism can include biological and chemical threats, cyber- attack, explosions, nuclear blast, and Radiological Dispersion Device (ROD). Throughout history, there have been many threats made; these have caused the demolition of property, illness and injury.

The first two steps for organizing for disaster are building an emergency supply kit and making a family emergency plan. Always, know where to go in cases of evacuation as ell as knowing warning arrangements and disaster plans of your community, during any terrorist attack. We may not always realize that the decisions we make online might place us, our families, and even our country at risk for cyber-attack. The first step in making the internet safer is learning about the dangers and taking action to protect ourselves as well as others.

You can heighten your chances of avoiding cyber terrorism by enabling the appropriate controls. You can protect yourself, and your family by only connecting to the internet using secure, password-protected networks, by not clicking on links, pop-ups, or ply to e-mails from those you do not know, by always entering a URL by hand rather than clicking on links if you are unconfined of whom the sender, by not reacting to online requests that want personal information, by limiting who you are sharing your information with, and by reporting suspicious web- sites and activity.

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